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Showing posts from February, 2013

Stanford's BJ Fogg Model of Behavior

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Persuasive Technology Lab @ Stanford University

It is a great model that talks about Trigger, Ability and Motivation to influence behavior. It is called Persuasive Technology Lab @ Stanford University

Maslow and the movie 'Hierankl'

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'The three most important questions', begins the 2003 German film 'Hierankl', are: Are you having sex? Do you have a family? Are you intellectually stimulated? Scoring three yeses is paradise, two yeses is what you need to be happy, and one yes is what you need to survive. The film is bad but the questions, it asks are good.

Out of the three questions that stimulate most are the first and the third one.
question is what do you mean by having sex? Maslow did talk about it 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation, at the bottom of the pyramid, the physiological needs are food, water, air, sex, etc . .  'Hierankl' talks about it in 2003 and still has validity to it. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence. At level of love, which is third from the bottom, he talks about sexual intimacy. But Hierankl talks bout sex with or without family, which means, sex that he is talking about is …

Budget 2013 and taxes

Every Sunday, I gorge into the Times of India, newspaper articles on the editorial page. I have my favorites like Gurucharan Das and Swaminathan A Iyer.

Excellent aspects into GD's article...

India's growth has plunged from almost 9 per cent to 5 per cent. One percentage point of GDP growth means roughly 15 lakh jobs; each direct job creates three indirect jobs; and each job supports a family of five. If you do the arithmetic, Madam, you will find that a four percentage point drop in GDP has brought pain and suffering to around 12,00,00,000 Indians. 

12 Cr. jobs vanished? and you can imagine the pulling-down effect it will have on consumption and thus on revenue and thus on GDP. Seems like a vicious cycle.
So, the 4 percent point growth rate dipped is due to NDA's stable government of 9 years? PM, Manmohan Singh's charismatic leadership and expertise in Macro-economics?

A recent study by Ejaz Ghani and others for the World Bank shows that the highways built or upgraded by…

Appreciative Inquiry (AI): David Cooperrider

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Following the strengths-based leadership philosophy of Peter Drucker, Appreciative Inquiry says “the essential task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a systems’ weaknesses irrelevant.” It says that managing and leading change is ALL about strengths: elevating strengths, magnifying strengths, and creating new combinations and chemistries of strengths in ways that propel innovation.
Appreciative Inquiry—or “AI” for short-- has two radical but exciting premises. First, is says forget everything you learned in change management 101—organizations are not problems-to be-solved—and that all the deficit based change methods, from gap analysis to organizational diagnosis, are in fact creating an exhausting treadmill and barrier to real innovation. Appreciative inquiry turns the problem-solving habits of the field on their head, and shows that change is more powerful, energizing, and effective when we inquire into the true, the good, the better and the possib…

"Built to Last" and "Built to be Sold" Companies

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies is a book written by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras on October 26, 1994. While there are companies that are built to last, there are numerous examples of companies, which are built to be sold. Heard of term called Serial Entrepreneur? They build companies fast, take it a level of being lucrative for some or many and then get it sold. Not sure, how does it work?

I read a few days back in Deccan Herald (precisely Feb 6, 2013) that travel services firm Thomas Cook (India) inked a pact to acquire 74 per cent stake in Ikya Human Capital Solutions in a deal valued at Rs 256 crore. Which is $47.14 million. IKYA was started in 2007 and they celebrated 5 years in 2012. Effectively, it took IKYA 5 years to be sold 74% at ~USD 50 Mn. Great value created by Ajit Issac, the CEO of IKYA.
AZB & Partners advised British travel major Thomas Cook’s erstwhile Indian subsidiary in buying a 74 per cent stake in upcoming Indian staffing company …

“Sense of worth” before “Sense of growth”

Thinking of retention risks?  Focus on people finding their “sense of worth” before giving them, the  “sense of growth”

Retention is an issue that haunts HR folks much more than any other evil. Reasons are galore. What make people think of moving out?.One is "urge to get out of here" and the other could be "to get in there". Though it is just a trigger.

Someone's loss is someone's gain. The devil emerges, many a times, when a team becomes dysfunctional for any reason, from losing a juicy project to a enter of a dictatorial manager to the poor performance review. Quite often, the reasons for people choosing to move out are sectoral technology change, seasonal recessionary trends, making business sick and people have no clue on when company returns to pink. 
Let others, not just HR folks, do the thinking and build a robust plan to retain the stars (A player) and others, respectfully called B players, as they hold the organization with their consistent performanc…

Feedback, Speedback, Feedforward and Goodback!

Karen May, vice president for people development at Google, has invented a method she calls “speedback.” It works like this: partway through a training session she will tell everyone to pair off and sit knee to knee, and give them three minutes to answer one simple question: “What advice would you give me based on the experience you’ve had with me here?” Participants say that it’s some of the best feedback they’ve ever gotten.

Compressing space works well too. Since I wrote about the effectiveness of Brazli’s futbol de salao (football in the room) for teaching soccer skills, I’ve come across numerous examples of coaches shrinking space to increase reps and improve feedback, from hockey to swimming to baseball to factory assembly lines.

WSJ article, " Yes, Everyone Really Does Hate Performance Reviews "by Samuel A Culbert says that "No one wants to give true feedback, no one wants to listen to the true feedback and normally the whole environment built around the feedback s…

The Accidental Billionaires: Will Facebook magic wane and wipe out

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The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal is a 2009 book by Ben Mezrich about the founding of Facebook, adapted by Columbia Pictures for the 2010 film The Social Network put the book cover because it is so attractive and inspiring. The four glorious words in the book's title are "Sex", "Money", "Genius" and "Betrayal". All of these 4 words are so powerful.  If we look at these four words and try making out one common cardinal value out of them, it would be "Self" or "Me" rather "Only me". Me is so important that it allows all sins of the ideal world, Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Yes, Genius as well, as this is the devil's Genius! Same day, Devils are always very attractive, because they win! While one billionaire is built on Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, the other legendary ones are built on 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. At least this is w…

Human Resource Analytics and Dashboards

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Human Resource Analytics has become as important as the Business Intelligence (BI) reports and dashboards have been. It is obvious that people strategy have become inevitable drivers of business objectives and talent strategy is the key to compete. From thriving, surviving and struggling the new way of doing business is "Analyse-Strategise-Execute-Analyse and Execute!".
Measures of success are reflected in financials and brand value, or the new fad of "Influence" in social marketing, driven by companies like Klout and Kred, but the war for talent that McKinsey declared as open strategy to grab or lose, has made HR Analytics more contemporary and real time activity than any CEO ever thought of.

HR Analytics are defining factors today for survival of companies. The war in the open is now waged on the exceptional talent and talent optimization policies, which set the baseline for creativity and innovation! Big data or Cloud Computing, SaaS, PaaS or IaaS, it is people wh…

Jim Collins and TV Rao: From HR to CEO!

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TV Rao's article in TOI Ascent, Feb 13, had some interesting discussion on 5 levels of HR Managers, based on what they do. I just created my own metrics and placed my descriptions in columns called, "Level of work", Hierarchy level' and "Action proposed". I urge you to look at the Level 5 Definition of Jim Collins and check what is missing at all the levels of HR of TV Rao is, "Leadership". Things will be very different if Leadership is added at all the levels.

Refer to link for downloading the file..
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwBOW5MTJapWRmIwVVJRdldLcEE/edit


Level of work Nature of work Hierarchy level Action proposed Level one HR Bottom rung work HR Administration: documentation, Data gathering, Record keeping and MIS Clerical/Entry level Outsourceable low end work Level two HR Just above the bottom, Coordinator and analyser of mundane data of time and attendance, appraisal form submission timeline, etc Monitoring and execution: the focus is on colle…

"BAD HIRING BLEEDS DESI COMPANIES RS.2460 CR IN 2012"

"BAD HIRING BLEEDS DESI COMPANIES RS.2460 CR IN 2012", TOI, Bangalore, Feb 11, 2013http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIBG/2013/02/11&PageLabel=1&EntityId=Ar00106&ViewMode=HTML Times of India Bangalore today, has an outrageous article on front page. "BAD HIRING BLEEDS DESI COMPANIES RS.2460 CR IN 2012" . And Hema Ravichander is right when she hits the right reason and mechanism that could help check his non-nonsensical hiring by agents of labor arbitrage. Yes, I call these modern day Talent Acquisition guys (Recruiters) agents of labor arbitrage. They have no idea what the company is, what is its culture and what are its business opportunities, challenges, constraints and leadership priorities and focus. They are just "poultry farmers" not recruiters. As Poultry farmers have only one yardstick to follow, a kilo of chicken would cost Rs.100, irrespective of …

Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That: A Modern Guide to Manners

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Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That: A Modern Guide to Manners, is a well received and acknowledged book on mannerism. Published in Jan 2012.


I came across a very interesting interview in Sunday Times of India's supplement today. Henry Alford was interviewed on the mannerism, the way he interprets it.

Its not etiquette or protocol but a way to respect others by doing, saying, asking, responding that shall make them feel comfortable, not something that makes only me comfortable.

Interesting example that Henry quotes is as below-
“No individual should congratulate a woman on her pregnancy until that woman has announced that she is indeed pregnant.” I’ve seen how the gaffe of doing otherwise causes mortified silences all around.

Another good example: A compliment to a woman, he writes, “should be a single sunflower set on a windowsill for her to walk up to and admire, not three dozen roses delivered by an exhausted-looking bike messenger in an angel costume.”

Some new words got its…

"People Matters" magazine Rewarded the HR Leaders. Did you know

The 25 young winners of People Matters’ Are You In The List were lauded at a spectacular Awards ceremony on January 24, 2013 in Gurgaon.
To select the list of winners in a scientific and transparent way People Matters partnered with Development Dimensions International (DDI), a leading global talent management consulting firm. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how we did it


‘WHY DO YOU NEED AN HR DEPARTMENT, MR CEO?’
10 questions for the boss
 People Matters asked the winners to pick the one query they would like to pose to their CEO. Here are the ten best questions

I am trying to answer the below questions in bold to see, if my CEO did not answer and asked me, what do you think shall be the answer, I would do as said below-

Q1. It is one thing to believe that “people” are any business’ competitive advantage and another to support this belief with appropriate allocation of resources. Is the resource allocation strategy of your business in consonance with the belief that it is “peopl…

Linkedin the biggest expose

Two biggest landmark changes for humanity in India are - RTI and LinkedIn.
Thanks to Arvind Kejriwal and many valiant fighters of RTI, who made this possible in a nation still ruled by Congress and the other has been the Linkedin, though,  Reid Hoffman would never have thought that he gave the professional world the Global RTI, without being asked for any RTI application.

Linkedin has been the biggest expose and tool of rights for professional world. Knowing details of people, we do business with or knowing your interviewer, knowing your colleagues to be and more on people from the company, you are interested in. People cannot fake, if they are on Linkedin, though Linkedin does not ask for any verification what you claim there on your profile, be it company you work for or run, tenure, qualifications, location you belong to, certificates that you earned etc. still it is a big lever in people's hand to know about others, who are on Linkedin today.
Initially, I found senior executi…

Why Human Resources Isn't Just For Women Anymore

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HRx Analysts published the below data for the US , reflecting euphemistically that HR is a 47 year old white woman! Interesting but a brilliant report.http://hrxanalysts.com/
Ten of the 50 top compensated CHROs were women.  Ten.  That’s 20%.  And that’s down from 43% in 2011.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2012/07/11/why-human-resources-isnt-just-for-women-anymore/

I always wondered why is HR more of women's game and why do I find more and more women in HR.
Great to know the origin of HR and it was really a woman's game to begin with.

Forbes cited HR Manager as a “best paying job for women” in 2011, with over 70 percent of the profession dominated by females. For year 2011, this percentage looks like quite imbalanced.

No wonder, within HR also, there are jobs for men, like the Industrial Relations Manager at factory, which works in all 3 shifts, HR Admin Manager, who manages attendance records, looks after canteen, transport and safety. Women still look like more suited fo…

Systems Thinking vs. Disruptive Thinking

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I had a phone interview from an Engineering Company for the Head-Learning and Development position/role.
The question that intrigued me was this, "What challenges do you anticipate when you join us in your role of Head-Learning and Development?

Interesting question and what I discovered at the time of answering this was that, process of learning and time to maturity are very different in different set of industries. While one techie can be trained on new Business Intelligence tool in 3 weeks, a driller cannot be trained in underwater piling in 3 weeks. It may take 3 years or more and even after that you will be a trainee. Engineering and Technology are disciplines way apart in terms of conceptualization and maturity. Engineering is a trade, Technology is skill application (a business?). While Engineering is the marble architecture, it's carving and polish that build the Taj Mahal, Technology is the positioning of Taj on the banks of river Yamuna, at an angle that it captures…

Ban These Interview Questions

Funny interviews
1.Ban these questions-
a.Why are you looking for change?
b.Why have you changed x jobs in y years?
c.Who do you report to?
d.Are you open for relocation?
e.Are you open to travel?
f.How long do you see you will work with us?
g.Why you left your fist company in less than 6 months?
h.How do you think you are a good fit for the job?
2.Ban gatekeepers from doing screening/first level interviews-
a.Recruiters doing specialised skills screening interviews
b.Recruiters or respectfully called Talent Acquisition folks do not even do check-list interview well.
c.They take pride in rejecting a good candidate by using defining words like, “too ambitious”, too aggressive”, too much of attitude”, “not flexible”. Do they know that all these rejection words could be a great fit in many cases and the Hiring Manager gets the filtered/refined average “tooth-less”, sometime, “spine-less” guy who will faint in real situations against expectations. How can you select a “hero” when you have a shepherd s…